Real estate is a highly competitive industry. Which is why so many (up to 80%) new realtors fail or quit in their first year.
As a realtor you need to stay top of mind for prospects and grow your network by regularly marketing yourself. It’s not enough to simply have the best customer service solution or online presence. You need to reach out to your target audience and engage them.
And if there’s one form of digital marketing that can help you do this, it’s email marketing.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how realtors can use email effectively, so that you grow your prospect base, earn more referrals, and achieve success.
Why use email marketing as a realtor?
Buying or selling a home is a big deal for potential clients. It can take months if not years for homeowners to take the leap and get in touch with a realtor. Unlike, for example, managing businesses on ecommerce platforms, you can’t afford to simply sit by and wait for prospective buyers or sellers to find your website when they’re ready.
This is where email marketing can help, by nurturing those prospects even when they’re not quite ready to make a move. When they finally make a decision to sell up or buy a new home you’ll be their first port of call as someone they know and trust.
1. Email puts you in control
When you compare email with other marketing strategies – including cold calling (even if you’re using the best business VoIP systems available) – email puts you in the driving seat. When you pick up the phone or post on social networks you’re not talking to people you’ve already made a connection with.
With email, however, you know exactly when your communications will be sent and to whom. Luckily, nowadays, Mailchimp and various alternatives to Mailchimp have made the process as simple as can be. You don’t have to deal with complex algorithms to know that your content has reached its target audience.
2. Email is one-to-one marketing
Just as contact center tools allow you to create personalized experiences for customers, email is an intimate form of communication. If done well, recipients will feel as though they’re getting a private message. By establishing a relationship with prospects, there’s a far higher chance of turning them from cold to warm leads.
3. All demographics use email
No-one asks ‘what is email marketing?’ Just about every person from every walk of life uses email. Email is a channel that will give you access to all types of buyers. So, whatever your niche – from a buyer or seller target market, or geographical area – you can serve everyone you need to.
4. Email gives you the ability to segment
Email offers you the opportunity to divide your target audience into segments so that you can deliver them personalized content. This can boost your chances of nurturing those leads.
Here are two examples of how to implement segmentation
1. When a subscriber signs up to your email list after attending an open house they may not put in an offer, but they’ve indicated they’re happy to work with you. These kinds of warm leads need specific content directed at them. You could send them new listings or provide them with educational content about preparing to move.
2. If a subscriber successfully bought the house of his or her dreams with your help, these types of email subscribers require different content to prospects. In this case, you could send them content that encourages them to refer you to others.
By personalizing your content to each recipient, you’re sending them something valuable. If you send out generic content to all your subscribers they’ll find the content useless, and it may prompt them to unsubscribe.
In addition, using a CRM system for market segmentation will also help the process along greatly.
5. Email can help you educate prospective clients
It can take up to three months for buyers to find a home and many start looking on their own before contacting a real estate agent. By using email to educate buyers about the home buying process, you’re positioning yourself as a trustworthy source of information. When they’re unsuccessful in finding a home on their own they’re likely to get in touch with you.
Now we’ve discussed why email marketing is so important for realtors let’s look at some best practices.
How to get started with email marketing
Before you can get started on your email marketing campaigns you need to:
Build an email list
To do this:
- Share the news about your new list on social media
- Add your email list to your personal signature
- Bring email sign up forms to your next open house
- Include an email opt-in on your real estate website
- Give people a reason to subscribe. E.g., a free download or lead magnet
Choose the right email marketing software
Once you’re ready to use email marketing, take some time to choose email marketing software to help you. You can’t use your personal email account for email marketing purposes because email clients such as Google limit the number of emails you can send at any one time.
And, in any case, your personal email probably doesn’t offer you analytics features or scheduling options.
If you’ve ever looked for good project management tools, you’ve probably noticed that there are hundreds of Trello competitors. Similarly, there plenty of email marketing tools and software options to choose from. To help you decide which one is right for you make sure you look for one with the following features:
Simple drag and drop templates
Unless you’re a skilled graphic designer, look for email software that’s user friendly for beginners. Drag and drop features will help you get set up in minutes. This is especially useful in collaboration with team members who may not quite have a handle on the ins and outs of what you’re creating in the first place.
Software that’s optimized for mobile
Mobile optimization is a must for your email marketing campaigns. Some emails are difficult to read on mobile even though they look great on a laptop. Narrow columns, tiny fonts, and broken layouts are all too common. By using software that optimizes your emails, you’ll increase the chances of viewers engaging and taking an action.
Email tools that give you the option to personalize
Personalization features enable you to add subscriber names in the body copy and subject lines. The more personalized you can get, the higher your open rates will be.
Software that includes automation and analytics
You can’t send out emails manually; it would be too time consuming. So opt for software that can automate things for you. For instance, allowing you to schedule when you send emails or automatically send out welcome emails to new subscribers. And to boost your marketing strategy, look for an email system that gives you analytics features you can readily understand.
Once you’ve decided on the right software, it’s time to start thinking about the types of emails you need to send.
Emails all realtors should be sending out
Email newsletters can be set to go out at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly. Most realtor newsletters will contain information about new listings, events, the real estate trends to look out for, or a recent blog post. The purpose of your newsletter should be to provide subscribers with content they find valuable – as well as keeping your services top of mind.
Follow ups and referral requests
Whether people are just browsing or seriously thinking about buying, it’s a good idea to send out a follow up email. If done correctly it sets the tone for your future client relationship, since recipients will see you as professional and polite.
It’s also sensible to send past clients an email after a set period of time to follow up and ask if they’re enjoying their new home. Or, if you’d prefer a more intimate approach, you can even ask to do a call. As long as you use that face-to-face time and different tools like online screen sharing to your advantage, you should do great.
Just as it’s essential to send onboarding emails to new employees, it’s important to send out emails or even sets of emails to new subscribers. This helps them feel they did the right thing in subscribing to your list, and helps to set expectations about how frequently they can expect to hear from you. You can use these emails to encourage recipients to click a link or reply directly to you.
Send out emails to encourage subscribers to attend your events and open houses – so you can meet with them in person.
What to include in your email content
Now we’ve discussed the basics of email marketing for realtors. It’s time to think about what you are going to put in your email content.
New listings, open houses, or video tours
When you make listing announcements in your emails make sure you describe why particular houses would be the ideal home for the right buyer. Include a video tour if the budget allows, because this can help boost engagement and interest.
Illustrate your expertise as a realtor by offering your insider knowledge of local neighborhoods. This can help prospective buyers make a decision about where they want to live. Consider releasing neighborhood guides each week or month.
Trends and tips in the real estate market
Send out informative newsletters or guides with the latest real estate trends written in a way that prospects can quickly read and digest. Share general educational information about the home buying process and the pitfalls to look out for.
If you’ve recently helped a couple find the home of their dreams share this with your subscriber list. Email is a great medium for sharing good news stories so include information that puts you in a good light.
Homebuying is becoming a primarily digital process, and along with new technologies such as cloud PBX, email marketing should be playing a big part in all realtors’ strategies.
Formal, impersonal letters no longer hit the mark, but concise, personalized email campaigns do.